Flower ready for Pakistan danger

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The Independent Online

England were well aware of the dangers on both sides as they prepared today for a high-profile 'decider' against ICC World Twenty20 champions Pakistan.

The stakes are significant for the Super Eight clash at Kensington Oval, where England come up against a team they have faced twice already in Twenty20 this year - drawing a two-match series in the United Arab Emirates almost three months ago.

Pakistan have been in a state of flux, with captains coming and going for all manner of cricketing and apparently political reasons, since they memorably beat the world at Twenty20 in England last June.

But under Shahid Afridi, they are a mercurial force - a fact well-known to England coach Andy Flower.

"Pakistan are a very dangerous side, with a history of winning a good percentage of their Twenty20 games," he said.

"But I think we're pretty dangerous as well.

"It would be a scalp. They have lots of talent, and a lot of variety in their attack.

"But our guys have shown attacking intent, quite a lot of power and the nous to time the innings properly.

"I thought the guys showed a lot of understanding of the ebbs and flows of the game [against West Indies in Monday's Group D defeat in Guyana]."

Flower is optimistic England have many bases covered when it comes to winning Twenty20 matches - and cites the inclusion of Michael Yardy as a second spinner as another tick in the right box.

"I think bringing in the left-arm spinning all-rounder helps balance our side - and we've got a good variety of type of player.

"That does ask a lot of questions of the opposition attacks.

"We're very excited about the potential - but we'll see how we go."

England were relieved to leave Georgetown last night still alive in the competition, after their controversial Duckworth-Lewis setback against the hosts the previous day and another relatively close shave in a rain-induced no-result against Ireland.

"It's been a funny couple of days, so disjointed," said Flower.

"We were nine balls from another Duckworth-Lewis result, so it's nice to get through."

Both Flower and captain Paul Collingwood have made it clear they are not enamoured with the D/L method - which they agree works well in 50-over cricket - when it comes to Twenty20.

"I don't think the Duckworth-Lewis, as it stands at the moment, is fair in 20-over cricket. We've seen a few instances of that," the coach pointed out.

"I wouldn't know how to rejig it, but I think it should be done.

"I think all stakeholders could see that it didn't quite work in the last (Twenty20) World Cup, and here we are at another one with the same system."